Back in early 2019 we were approached by one of our partner schools, Kent College Canterbury, to offer our support in guardianship, for a new student they had enrolled from overseas.
A member of the school had met a young man called Issaya Mayro out in Tanzania and was instantly impressed by how bright he was. Issaya's family were not in a position to fund his education in the UK but Kent College recognised his talent and offered him a scholarship to join the school.
All students need a good and professional guardian and so Kent College approached Lorna Astbury, our Local Coordinator, to see if Bright World could also offer a scholarship to this promising student. Lorna generously offered to waive her fees as a Local Coordinator and we, in turn waived our guardianship fees. We were happy to support him through his holiday times and offer that extra layer of safeguarding support.
Overseas travel was not always feasible for Issaya and so he didn't get the opportunity to travel back to Tanzania during his half terms. This made it extra important for Bright World to match him with the perfect host family; to offer him a home from home during these times.
We were successful in finding the perfect match for him in Penny and Paul, who hosted him for his entire time with us. They really treated him like one of the family and took him out on day trips and to traditional English activities, such as quizzes and Halloween celebrations.
Issaya described the food at Penny and Paul's as 'wonderful' and he really enjoyed his stays there. In the midst of the pandemic in December 2020 he could not make the journey home due to travel restrictions and enjoyed the unique experience of spending a Christmas in the UK with his host family.
Two years on and at the end of the 2021 academic year, we were so proud to hear that Issaya really excelled in his A levels. He studied for 7 A levels (not the usual 3 or 4) and achieved A grades in every subject. This is really outstanding and is testament to his dedication and hard work.
With a UK university career ahead of him and with a dream to study Medicine, Kent College again stepped in and 'with a small army of folks' secured university funding for Issaya. He applied to the new medical school at the University of Kent and we are overjoyed to announce that he was successful in gaining a place.
Lorna caught up with Issaya just before Christmas 2021. He has now begun his medical degree at the University of Kent; sharing a house with 5 other medical students and is very happy. He wants to specialise in cardiology.
He is still in touch with his host Penny and has very fond memories of spending Christmas there and them introducing him to pub quizzes! He is very grateful for their support and friendship.
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